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16+ Violence

Box Children - Chapter 4

by ToastK


Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for violence.

General Author's Note: This chapter is told through multiple POVs. And a certain someone (Theo) is horrible at writing. All mistakes in his POV are intentional (unless I misspelled a word accidentally, which I'll just blame Theo for.)

—Theo’s POV—

A whiff of morning dew and the filtering of sunlight through the foliage disturbing my eyes woke me up. I focused my eyes, adjusting to the sun. Sunlight was short in this world. The sun was only up for an hour or two before setting, so we had to get ready for the day(?).

It’s been about nearly almost probably a year since I’ve come to this dystopian world. I’ve come to learn a few interesting things about this place.

Time works reaalllyyyy wonkily. I’ve been here for nearly a year, yet Nate’s been here for less than a week despite the fact that the shadow kidnapped him before me.

There also seems to be something… (Magic mayhaps?) That flows around. I can’t use it, see it, or feel it, but I can sense it. Kind of like how you can’t tell whether your friend took a single piece of M&M out of your bag, but you can sense that he took the M&M out of your bag.

The first time I knew this place wasn’t like Earth and that this wasn’t just some kind of random place in the middle of Arkansas was when (apart from the giant speaker system that announces deaths and stuff,) I got really terribly badly injured while running away from a bunch of people. But when they caught up to me and I got thrown into the river, all the cuts and broken bones in my body began to heal instantaneously. I could sense it.

Anyways, I got up and woke Nate up from his sleep. Dude snores like an ill porcupine for real.

Even though this place is kind of dangerous(y’know, with the delinquents and shadows and all,) most of the skirmishes and chaos happen in seldom bursts, making it safe like 99.999% of the time.

After trying to wake Nate up for the seventh time, bro was still sleeping. ‘10 more minutes,’ he kept saying. Greg was also asleep, and if anything happened, they would’ve been fine (probably) so I headed out the forest, going to the abandoned grocery store in the city that mysteriously gets restocked every so often.

Luckily, since it’s so unpredictable when that place’ll get restocked, no one really stays there since you'll become an easy target. When the store does get restocked though, a massive crowd of people from all around the cracks of this city and the surrounding area come in, fighting for the smallest amounts of supplies. We can’t even really eat anything besides liquid because this goddamn indestructible box only has holes for eyes. We manage to drink through those eye holes, but food is usually too messy, hot, or just straight-up big to even be consumed.

Today, there was nothing. Just as I expected. I headed back towards the camp as sneakily as possible, losing any potential stalkers or scavengers that might’ve followed me.

When I reached the forest, the light had already almost gone out in the sky. I navigated my way towards the camp and saw Nate reading a book.

Hold on… I thought there weren't any books- wait is that my DIARY?

“Oh, hey Theo.”

“Don’t “hey Theo” me! What the heck’re you reading?”

“Oh, your diary. You suck at writing by the way. ‘For today has been the mostest fun I’ve ever had since the day I have had came here.’ Like what is this? How are you so bad at expressing yourself in even basic English?"

“That’s why it’s written in a diary, a book where I write my private thoughts. Give it back!” I sayed- I mean said.

“Only if you give me twenty for it!”

“Oh come on, There’s no money in this world! All there are, are a bunch of scavengers and bartering like primorbial apes!”

“First of all, it’s primordial. Also, what do you mean? I have two tens on me right now.”

“How?”

“I sleep with my socks on, and I always have emergency savings with me at all times.”

“Ewwww, who would even want feet money?”

“I clean my feet unlike you do.”

“Shut up.”

“Are you guys fighting again?” Greg chimed in, finally being the final one to wake up.

“We weren’t fighting!” Me and Nate said at the same time, simultaneously.

“Jinx!” I quickly said out loud before Nate could.

“You’re so childish,” Nate said.

Before I could rebut anything, a sound from the left was heard by us. It was the sound of ruffling in the foliage.

We all suddenly quietened up, becoming cautious about what could or might be on the other side. I grabbed the gun I brought and loaded it just in case. Even though I have horrible aim, it was better than nothing. I think.

—Nathan’s POV—

Not even being able to fully process Theo’s terribly written diary with more grammatical mistakes than haikus written by kindergarteners, we had to get straight into high alert mode. Something was out there, waiting to ambush us. And we got ready to fight back.

Suddenly, an announcement came from… somewhere. I couldn’t tell whether it was the sky or the ground or the trees, but a voice announced, “Ali Redman, Christian Alington, Leah Peirre, Ken Sakagawa, all eliminated. Sixteen players remaining. From now on, the gamemode will change to capture the flag. You will need four teammates. All who fail to gather in a group of four will be eliminated by the end of the next dawn break. Friendly fire is off for this gamemode.”

As soon as the announcement finished, the thing in the shadows jumped out, rustling the leaves very loudly.

It turned out to be just a plain mountain rabbit.

But there was something else behind it.

—Alyssa’s POV—

All my friends are dead…

I thought we were safe. We had been hiding out at various places to avoid conflict. But just like that, one skirmish later and I’m the only one alive.

I ran towards the forest north of the river, knowing that it was the one place no one ever checks. While running, I could feel tears flowing down my cheeks, blurring my vision even more with this already vision-impairing box on my head. I could barely tell where I was going, just running straight, trying not to get caught by debris and broken pieces of glass that littered the roads.

Ali, Chris, Leah, Ken… Why were you guys the ones who died? I should’ve been the one… Maybe it’s better if I also… I stopped that train of thought before it ran off the cliff.

As I made it closer to the forest, the vegetation surrounding the area, from the buildings to the roads became more lush. Even though the sky was already pitch black I’ve gotten used to this darkness and could make out sort of where I was going.

As I made it deeper into the forest, I could see a scintillating light a bit yonder. As I got closer, I could hear bantering from a couple of kids near the light.

“Are you guys fighting again?”

“We weren’t fighting!”

“Jinx!”

“You’re so childish.”

They suddenly stopped talking; probably because I accidentally stumbled over a bunch of bushes, rustling them, and they heard me.

Before they could find me, they—and subsequently I, were interrupted by the announcement system.

It announced my friends’ names and declared them eliminated. How cruel that the system doesn’t put any emotional value to these names, treating them as nothing more than mere subjects when announcing their demise.

But that wasn’t the only thing. As I continued running, the system announced something else.

“From now on, the gamemode will change to capture the flag. You will need four teammates. All who fail to gather in a group of four will be eliminated by the end of the next dawn break. Friendly fire is off for this gamemode.”

The system never changed gamemodes like that. All it did was announce deaths and events with prizes from time to time.

Suddenly, catching me off guard, one of the kids spotted me.

“Who are you?” the kid said.

I suddenly broke down in tears. I don’t know what triggered it. Maybe it was the fact that all my friends were dead. Or maybe it was because I was having an existential crisis while coming to the forest, and the question “Who are you?” is the exact type of question that breaks one’s limit when having an existential crisis. Or maybe I was scared.

“Way to go, Nate, you made a random stranger cry in just three words.” The other kid said.

Nate… that’s my brother’s name.


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117 Reviews

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Thu Jun 27, 2024 4:44 am
Moonlily wrote a review...



Hello Hello I hope you dont mind me popping in with a quick review. I will apologize that I haven't read much of this story so I might be wrong but I hope I can help you get out of the green room. ( If someone doesn't beat me to it this greenroom will be super clean by the end of this month for sure. ) Anyway let's get into it, shall we?

Overall I enjoyed this but I cant comment much on the plot. This isn't because nothing happened but because of my lack of knowledge. The dynamics were fun it felt like real children possibly young adults bickering I should know from experience. Nate maybe having a sister makes tons of sense as to why he can argue and sas so well. Are you a sibling if you aren't arguing and taunting each other nonstop?

I also enjoyed the bits of worldbuilding and common sense sprinkled in. Much like the only having to drink instead of eat and the store being restocked. however, I am curious how one wouldn't get the drink in their eye if it's done through an eyehole. Are they super big and doing weird hand movements to get it down to their mouth?

Regardless I also liked the vibe this idea gave off. It's a fun strange world that feels like a mix of Percy Jackson and The Hunger Games. I might go back and read the other parts sometime it could be a good tale.

Now onto the feedback where I cant fairly give any because it was meant to be wonky at the start. Just know it was killing me to not bring it up because I like helping people smooth out their writing.

Putting aside the typos that were meant to be there I liked dipping my toes into this story good job. As always keep writing and drink water! ( not through a box )




ToastK says...


Thank you lily for your review! Lol, I have been largely inspired by hunger games and other battle royale series like alice in borderland, games like fortnite(yes, actually..) pubg, etc. I can tell you that its totally fine if you havent read the other parts! Read them anytime if you want as, they will most likely be answering some of your questions (hopefully) !

Also, thanks for getting me and a ton of other writers out of the green room! Superb work so far! (And yes, I will drink water out of a cup or bottle, not a box :D )



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369 Reviews

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Mon Jun 24, 2024 4:27 pm
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RavenAkuma wrote a review...



Hello Again, My Friend!

It's me, Raven, and I'd like to review the next chapter in this great story using my Familiar method! Let's dive in, shall we? Heh heh heh...

What The Black Eyes See...

Ooo, after learning a little bit more about the world from Theo's experienced perspective, we hear the ominous news that the "game" has changed modes, and it looks like the boys have met a potential fourth teammate! Let's get into the details though.

Where The Dagger Points...

I didn't really have any recommendations to make this time! Even the flaws in Theo's section, as you mention, serve a purpose so I don't feel the need to call them out haha. Good writing job ~

Why The Grin Widened...

I really like how you wrote Theo's perspective, with his imperfect manner of speech. Though not consistent in terms of grammar as you warned us, it did make the part feel a little more immersive, like it's coming straight from him.

I feel like I've heard a hint about this place's unusual flow of time before, but with this confirmation from Theo:

Time works reaalllyyyy wonkily. I’ve been here for nearly a year, yet Nate’s been here for less than a week despite the fact that the shadow kidnapped him before me.


It came as a surprise and proved how wild and all over the place.

I enjoyed the detail about the trouble solid food, how the store will mysteriously restock, and how there will be random crowds that form when the word spreads. It makes me wonder what that crowd looks like -how many people are stuck here, and are there targets beyond children?

“That’s why it’s written in a diary, a book where I write my private thoughts. Give it back!” I sayed- I mean said.


I love the little notes like Theo correcting himself -again, it makes the piece feel like it's coming straight from his perspective, and it added a little touch of humor to this gloomy story (not that I would ever complain about a gloomy atmosphere heh heh).

Sixteen players remaining. From now on, the gamemode will change to capture the flag. You will need four teammates. All who fail to gather in a group of four will be eliminated by the end of the next dawn break. Friendly fire is off for this gamemode.”


It's chilling to hear that disembodied announcement, talking about those 'eliminated' in the game. As for the new game mode, I wonder what this will entail, and where they'll find a fourth member.

I really liked the introduction of Alyssa's character, how you show Nate is on high alert as she approaches, whereas she is preoccupied with some very grim thoughts:

Ali, Chris, Leah, Ken… Why were you guys the ones who died? I should’ve been the one… Maybe it’s better if I also… I stopped that train of thought before it ran off the cliff.


Seeing her struggle with what sounds like hardcore survivor's guilt, and where it's pointing her, it's hard not to empathize with her position. Especially as she finds the boys and cries just from beign asked something as simple as 'who are you?' and having no answer to give. Right off the bat, I'm drawn to her character and eager to see what will happen to her, which to me is the sign of a good introduction!

Our Mad Thoughts...

Overall, this was a great update for the Box Children, nicely done!

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trust your heart if the seas catch fire (and live by love though the stars walk backward)
— E.E. Cummings